Bug Out! July 11-14, 2016

This week Mountain Kids had a blast exploring the world of bugs! On Monday, we started our adventure at Little Tesuque. Led by Wade from Harrell House Bug Museum, we set pitfall and potato bug traps. We left the traps near the trail overnight and on Tuesday we headed back up to Little T to see what we caught! Checking the traps, we mostly caught ants but there were a few spiders in the traps too! Tuesday afternoon we visited the Harrell House Bug Museum. There, we admired the large collection of creepy crawlies, butterflies, moths, giant lizards, scorpions, and much more! The brave campers also got to hold some of the museum’s bugs, including a millipede and a tarantula. On Wednesday and Thursday we enjoyed the water and cooler temperatures up the mountain at Big Tesuque and Norski trails. It was a fantastic week filled with bugs, nature, and adventure!

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Photo Safari and Adventure Filmmaking! June 27-July 1, 2016

Photo Safari!

This week the Hummingbirds and Owls went on a photo safari adventure! While the kids were playing and exploring in nature, they captured images of their adventure using photography techniques they learned from our photography master and Director, Katie. Some of the techniques they used were the rule of thirds, contrast, and close-up and faraway view points. Featured below are the photos taken by the Hummingbirds and Owls throughout their photo safari!

Photos by the Hummingbirds:

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Photos by the Owls:

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In addition to the kids capturing moments in nature, our Mountain Kids counselors caught the Hummingbirds and Owls in action throughout their adventure. To start the week, we ventured to Little Tesuque where we practiced the rule of thirds and enjoyed the river. On Tuesday, we headed out to the picturesque Rio En Medio. The kids became ever-vigilant as they carefully hiked through “poison-ivy alley” (successfully) and were awe-struck by a huge mass of hot-pink blooming Cholla.  The Hummingbirds had lots of free play that involved such things as crossing streams stone by stone, clambering up boulders, and discovering moss that became green carpet for a home. The Owls hiked all the way to the majestic waterfall and enjoyed getting soaked in the cool water. The week also took us to Big Tesuque, Norski, and the Beaver Ponds where we shot more photos with new knowledge of the elements of design from a photographic perspective: line, shape, pattern, contrast and color. The Hummingbirds and Owls accomplished a lot in one week, culminating in a end of week Photo Show where the kids favorite photo was shown at Warehouse 21.  We are mighty proud of their willingness to see nature as a thing of beauty and wonder.  Check out the kids’ adventures below!

Hummingbird adventures:

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Owls Adventures:

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Adventure Filmmaking!

Adventure Filmmaking was Mountain Kids first two week camp! For the first week, the Eagles went on a backpacking trip to Rio en Medio. During their trip, the Eagles filmed their adventure, capturing footage of the river, forest, and fellow campers. Throughout their second week of camp, the Eagles went to Warehouse 21 to create a movie out of their taken film. When they weren’t in the studio, the Eagles also took nature adventures to the Santa Fe River and Deer Creek. Their two weeks culminated in a show of their videos, along side the photo show.  It was great to see these beginning film makers work, and was an awesome two weeks of film and nature!

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Archeology! July 13-16, 2015

For our archeology week, Mountain Kids had a blast learning about New Mexico’s past all while playing outside. Thursday was a great treat! We went to Tsankawi to explore the ancient pueblo. We climbed down into the old homes and told stories. In the afternoon we enjoyed a giant rain storm, taking shelter in the nearby caves.

Hummingbirds/Owls Slideshow:

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Eagles Slideshow:

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Survival Hunting Tools! June 22-25, 2015—Eagles (9-12 year olds)

With their spears, bows, rabbit sticks, and deadfall traps, the Eagles have the tools to survive in the wild! On Monday and Tuesday we constructed our hunting tools. Lead by Matt Brummett, the eagles carved their tools and learned how to properly handle them. Using bagged hay targets, the Eagles practiced using their tools and even tried out Matt’s personal atlatl and bow and arrows. On Wednesday, the Eagles had the tools they needed to survive an overnight in the woods, and, in the evening, we learned how to make deadfall traps, enjoyed a game of capture the flag, sang songs while roasting marshmallows, and listened to stories about magnificent animals. On Thursday, after a hot oatmeal breakfast, we hiked to nearby caves and explored the dark caves with our headlamps. After this week of Mountain Kids, the Eagles have the tools to hunt for a scrumptious rabbit dinner!

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Bug Out! June 15-18, 2015—Eagles (9-12 Year Olds)

The Eagles enjoyed a week of bugs, hiking, and capture the flag! On Monday, we explored the Beaver Ponds, finding numerous fossils and making hematite face paint. Back at Fort Marcy, we set up our bug traps in the arroyo. Deer Creek was our destination on Tuesday, where we swam in the pools and scrambled up rocks. On Wednesday, we enjoyed a hike through the trees. We practiced our orientation skills, using a map and compass and by identifying landmarks. Bug week ended on Thursday with hiking to a gushing waterfall, identifying poison ivy, making cone and stick boats, and playing in the mud.

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Photo Safari! June 8-11, 2015 – Eagles (9-12 Year Olds)

This Week the Eagles used their Eagle eyes peering through camera lenses to capture and share the beauty they found all over New Mexico.  On Monday we hiked through an Aspen Grove and played games along the way.  On Tuesday we mustered heroic persistence for a long but beautiful hike .  The magical, misty, wide open view was worth all the complaining on the way up and hail/rainstorm on the way down.  On Wednesday we donned our camping gear and headed out to Abiquiu Lake for a camping trip.  As the rain clouds cleared we spent the day working on out photo transfers, swimming in the lake, and learning about its history from the park rangers.  Once night fell, we shared stories, songs and s’mores by grandfather fire.  The next day we had the opportunity to hike Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch and cool off in the lake, before heading back to Fort Marcy filled with vitamin nature, cameras of artfully composed photos, and lots of great memories.

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Photo Safari! June 8-11, 2015—Hummingbirds (5-6 Year Olds)

Lights, camera, action! The Hummingbirds enjoyed a week of pictures and nature. Exploring New Mexico’s backyard,  the Hummingbirds played in rivers, made fairy houses, and fiddled with cameras. Throughout the week, the Hummingbirds created sun prints using collected leaves, sticks, and pine needles. Some of their adventures and discoveries are captured in their photos taken throughout the week.

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(Advanced) Wilderness Skills! June 1-4, 2015

“Focus, Patience and Practice,”  this was our mantra as we learned some of the skills our ancestors used to survive 75,000 years ago.  These “Ancient Lifeways” were taught to us by Matt Brummett, a skilled expert in the field.  All of the older campers made their own hand drill, a tool used to make fire.  We practiced a lot, some campers getting close to making a coal–a very difficult skill!  We also made gourd canteens, a container our ancestors carried water in before the age of Nalgene and stainless steel!  Our youngest campers each made a gourd bowl to eat out of, as our ancestors did.  Everyone had the chance to learn how to make cordage (rope) out of cattails.  We talked about how to make shelters to keep you warm and dry and then made shelters to sleep in on our campout.  It was awesome to witness the TEAMWORK of the group as they made a coal together with a hand drill for our campfire (see photos below). We talked about the 5 Ws of preparing for a hike, and what to do if you get lost.  We found some edible and medicinal plants on our hikes (Mmmm… dandelions!), and played lots of games to get us up close and personal with nature (Eagle Eye, Sardines, Capture the Flag and Meet-a-Tree, to name a few). We asked the Eagles how this week changed them.  Here are a few responses: “I learned survival skills, and I am more confident in my ability to survive.” – Keifer “I got AWESOME!” – Joaquin “I got more creative.” – Jack J. “I got more peaceful.” – Merrick “I feel sorry for ancient people, and I am happy and thankful to have a house. I had fun!” -Jack D. All of the campers concurred with this last thought shared by Keifer, and agreed that PERSEVERANCE was needed for many of the skills and activities this week.  Great life lessons! Thank you to all of the campers for all of your focus, patience, practice and fun this week! Photos of Eagles and Owls (See Hummingbirds below!):

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Hummingbird Adventures!

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